in the tertiary level started yesterday with complaints of higher tuition and
miscellaneous fees aired by students from different colleges and universities
in Negros Occidental.
In a press conference yesterday, League of Filipino
Students-Negros secretary general, Julius Dagatan, said students' rights to quality
education are continuously jeopardized by the high tuition and miscellaneous fees.
He said that as long as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is in power,
Filipino students will never have a chance of a better future.
the education system in the country as a failure, Kabataan Partylist chairperson
Ma. Clarizza Singson said the oppressive and anti-student policies endanger the
youth's aspiration to quality education.
She said those who managed to
enter college eventually drop out from school due to high cost of private tertiary
education and limited slots in state schools.
Data gathered by the LFS,
Anakbayan and Kabataan Partylist showed that students drop-out rate in 2004 reached
11 million, 13,4 million in 2005, and 14.6 million in 2006.
also presented a report showing that 10 schools in the province increased its
tuition fees this school year.
These schools were Binalbagan Catholic
College, Central Negros College, Colegio de San Agustin, Fellowship Baptist College,
John B. Lacson College Foundation, La Consolacion College-Bacolod, La Consolacion
College-La Carlota, Riverside College, University of St. La Salle and VMA Global
They also scored the Commission on Higher Education for kowtowing
to the pressure from Malacaņang. Zara Alvarez, Anakbayan chairperson said that
CHED along with the Department of Education act in connivance with the Office
of the President in initiating policies that make education a luxury in the country.
Meanwhile, Dagatan said LFS advocates for the rights of the Filipino youth
and it is not a front of the Communist Party of the Philippines to recruit members
for the New People's Army.
He said it was unfair for the military to issue
statements categorizing the LFS and other militant youth groups as CPP affiliates.
He said that a member who enrolled in one of the universities the other
day was told by a school official to be careful as he is under surveillance.
He said that despite the threats on their safety, they will still go on denouncing
the oppressive and anti-student policy of the Arroyo administration.*NB